This strategic plan is a call upon new and existing partners, students, alumni and citizens to explore with us the potential of nature, to participate in defining and understanding the challenges facing us, to engage in discussing and navigating trade-offs, and to work with us on evidence-based and socially inclusive answers that drive transitions. This Strategic Plan - with an update for the period 2022-2024 - is an invitation to join us in finding answers together.
Global challenges and our ambition
In the 21st century, we face major global challenges crossing the borders of nations and sectors. Humanity is over-consuming nature and its natural resources; urban centres are becoming overpopulated, a major part of the population faces malnutrition, and the climate is changing rapidly. National and global developments – like the Covid-19 pandemic and the continuous changing geopolitical situation – require new knowledge and solutions to respond and anticipate well.
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) provides high-quality knowledge, education and research to develop and implement paths of change addressing these challenges and design and accelerate the necessary transitions. We cannot do this alone. We need partners - both our current and new ones, both national and international ones. Simultaneously, we aim for continuous internal renewal, change and improvements to maintain and strengthen our high quality, societal impact and global position.
Our research is driven by our desire to understand and contribute to the world’s challenges and the transitions that lie before us. In Wageningen, we encompass the entire chain of knowledge, from curiosity-driven fundamental research to science-based and up-scalable practical knowledge to create solutions that have an impact.
In the coming years, we will continue to work on Open Science and the ‘Recognition and Reward’ programme. We also start with our first Engineering Doctorate degree programme.
Every Strategic Plan period, we select new investment themes to expand our fundamental and applied research on priority issues. Also, our new Wageningen Research Programmes are established as part of our total research portfolio. These programmes strengthen our knowledge base.
Investment themes (Wageningen University & Research)
- Connected circularity (until 2022)
- The protein transition (until 2022)
- Digital twins (until 2022)
- Biodiversity-positive food systems (2022-2024)
- Transformative bio-economies (2022-2024)
- Data-driven discovery in a changing climate (2022-2024)
- Circular and climate-neutral
- Food security and valuing water
- Nature inclusive
- Safe and healthy food systems
- Data-driven and high tech
We provide students and professionals with the knowledge and skills to contribute to key global transitions. Students and professionals come to Wageningen University & Research to participate in our expanding portfolio of online and on-campus programmes, trainings and courses, all of which are combined in our Education Ecosystem. Our Education Ecosystem continuously develops through innovation and expansion of both content and forms of education, while maintaining high quality, creating flexible learning paths and strengthening our diverse classrooms.
In the coming years, we will maintain, improve, and expand effective blended (combination of face-to-face and online) and small-scale education innovations. We will further strengthen our profile in both the Netherlands and abroad and expand our programme of education for professionals.